GRAND CHUTE, Wis. (WFRV) – No charges will be filed against a Grand Chute Police Officer who was accused of making derogatory social media posts while in high school in the early 2010s.
Grand Chute Police Chief Greg Peterson released details following the department’s internal investigation into Officer Bryce La Luzerne. In late June, WFRV Local 5 was made aware of La Luzerne’s posts.
At that time, Grand Chute Police told WFRV Local 5 that an internal investigation was underway. Chief Peterson released details on the investigation in early July, saying “The posts were reviewed and a determination was made that the content was, in fact, highly offensive, as well as racist and homophobic in nature. To say I was shocked by the content would be an understatement.”
A group demanded the firing of La Luzerne outside of the Grand Chute Police Department on July 5. Chief Peterson told WFRV Local 5 that the decision to fire any officer is out of his hands, but is instead the responsibility of the Grand Chute Police and Fire Commission.
According to the statement provided to the Police and Fire Commission, Chief Peterson says the completion of the internal investigation, “coupled with a lack of any examples of concerning behavior occurring during his employment with the Grand Chute Police Department” led to his conclusion that there are no grounds to file charges against La Luzerne.
Throughout the report, Chief Peterson cites that La Luzerne was in high school when the social media posts were created and would, therefore, not be bound by the Grand Chute Police Department Code of Conduct. The internal investigation also included reviewing La Luzerne’s social media activity and internet browing history, an analysis of his activities while an officer and his character, and interviews of those who have interacted with La Luzerne.
Chief Peterson says “we recognize the highly sensitive nature of this matter and the harmful impact such allegations, if sustained, would have on the trust we have worked so hard to build with our community.” He goes on to say that “this trust has already suffered damage based solely on the egregious nature of the allegations.”
“The comments shared by Officer La Luzerne as a teenager were reprehensible. Making no excuses for his conduct, he is in full agreement, stating so in a written apology he has given to me,” Chief Peterson says. “Acknowledging the pain arising from his actions, he has also expressed his desire to ‘restore the trust and repair the damage’ that his past words have caused.”
Here’s a look at the full report: